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Almaty flea market fire case hits court

27 february 2014, 18:06
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The fire at the flea market Ayan. ©Rosa Yessenkulova
The fire at the flea market Ayan. ©Rosa Yessenkulova
Hearings of the criminal case over Almaty flea market fire started on February 25. The case is heard in the court of Zhetysu district of Almaty city by judge Gyulnara Musrepova, Tengrinews reports citing the press-secretary of Almaty Municipal Court Kuandyk Yeshimet.

The case was initiated after the huge fire at Almaty flea market that happened on September 13, 2013. The fire badly damaged 5400 sq meters in four sections of the market: Olzha, Ayan, Keremet and Alatau. The investigation found that carelessness during welding works caused this massive damage.

"The lawsuit got to court on February 25, 2014. Judge Musrepova is hearing the case," Kuandyk Yeshimet said.

Mr. Zh. Khainarov, who rented the boutique in Olzha flea market section from where the fire started spreading, is charged with Destroying or damaging property as a result of careless handling of fire or a sources of increased danger. He may face a fine of $2000 to $5000 or 3 years in prison. And Mr. N. Aldabergenov, Director General of Olzha and Kulage market sections is charged with Violating fire safety rules and may face from 5 to 7 years in prison.

Both of the defendants are under the recognisance not to leave Almaty.

"Criminal cases on other fires at the flea market (there was a series of fires at the market in late 2013 and early2014) have not yet gone as far as the court, the investigations have not been completed yet," Kuandyk Yeshimet said.

The September 13 fire started at 1:33 p.m. in Olzha section of the largest flea market of Almaty known as Barakholka and spilled into Ayan section, and partially into Keremet and Alatau sections.

The fire was taken under control and stopped from spreading at 7:59 p.m. the same day and completely extinguished only in the morning of the following day at 6:38 a.m. on September 14. A total of 1518 firefighters, 142 fire engines and 2 helicopters were involved in the massive firefighting operation.


Reporting by Linda Buran

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